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4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/02/2010  First Issue
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


SNAPSHOT OF CRIME VICTIMISATION

Personal crime

In December 2008, 16.9 million people aged 15 years or over were living in private dwellings in Australia. It was estimated that in the 12 months prior to interview, of those aged 15 years or over:

  • 527,400 (3.1%) people were victims of at least one physical assault
  • 718,600 (4.2%) people were victims of at least one threatened assault, including face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assaults
  • 96,700 (0.6%) people were victims of at least one robbery. (Table 1)

A total of 16.1 million people aged 18 years or over were living in private dwellings in Australia during December 2008. It was estimated that in the 12 months prior to interview, of those aged 18 years or over, 52,500 (0.3%) people were victims of at least one sexual assault. (Table 1)

The proportion of victims who reported the most recent incident to police varied depending on the type of crime:
  • 45% for physical assault
  • 39% for robbery
  • 31% for sexual assault
  • 30% for face-to-face threatened assault. (Table 1)


Household Crime

In December 2008, Australia had 8.2 million households. It was estimated that in the 12 months prior to interview:
  • 267,800 (3.3%) households were victims of at least one break-in to their home, garage or shed
  • 251,300 (3.1%) households were victims of at least one attempted break-in to their home, garage or shed
  • 91,000 (1.1%) households had at least one motor vehicle stolen
  • 369,200 (4.5%) households were victims of at least one theft from a motor vehicle
  • 912,500 (11%) households were victims of at least one incident of malicious property damage
  • 362,400 (4.4%) households were victims of at least one other theft. (Table 2)
HOUSEHOLD CRIME VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Household crime victimisation rates by state.


The proportion of victims who reported the most recent incident to police varied depending on the type of crime:
  • 87% for motor vehicle theft
  • 76% for break-in
  • 55% for theft from a motor vehicle
  • 43% for malicious property damage
  • 38% for attempted break-in
  • 34% for other theft. (Table 2)

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PERSONAL CRIME

Physical assault

During the 12 months prior to interview, an estimated 1.8 million incidents of physical assault were experienced by Australians aged 15 years or over (Table 1). Of the 527,400 estimated victims, 273,700 people experienced one physical assault, 102,900 experienced two physical assaults and 144,000 experienced three or more physical assaults (Table 3).

The physical assault victimisation rate for Australia was 3.1% (Table 6).

PHYSICAL ASSAULT VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Physical assault victimisation rates by state.


The victimisation rates for physical assault were 8.7% for people aged 15-19 years and 5.2% for people aged 20-24 years, compared with 0.4% for people aged 65 years and over. The victimisation rate was higher for people who were not married (5.3%) than for people who were married (1.7%). The victimisation rate was higher for people who were unemployed (7.1%) than people not in the labour force (2.2%), people employed full-time (3.3%) and people employed part-time (3.7%). (Table 7)

An estimated 321,300 victims of physical assault were male, whereas 206,100 victims were female (Table 1).

Approximately 62% of people who experienced a physical assault knew the offender in the most recent incident, with 14% indicating that the offender was a member of their family and 48% indicating that the offender was not a member of their family (Table 8).

An estimated 29% of the most recent physical assaults occurred at the victim's home, 20% occurred in the street or other open land, and 18% occurred at work or place of study. No weapon was used in the majority (85%) of the most recent physical assaults, and 54% of victims were not physically hurt. Of the 242,800 people physically hurt in the most recent physical assault, 104,300 people sought medical treatment. (Table 8)

The location of physical assaults varied depending on the sex of the victim. Almost half (49%) of the most recent physical assaults females experienced occurred at the victim's home, compared with 17% experienced by males. (Table 9)

Furthermore, the location of physical assaults varied according to the victim's relationship to the offender. Of the 73,100 victims of a most recent physical assault perpetrated by a current or previous partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date, 78% occurred in the victim's home. Of the 199,300 victims of a most recent physical assault perpetrated by an offender the victim did not know, 9.1% occurred in the victim's home.(Table 9)

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Threatened assault

In the 12 months prior to interview, Australians aged 15 years or over experienced an estimated 3.9 million incidents of threatened assault, including face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assaults (Table 1). Of the 718,600 victims of threatened assault, an estimated 251,500 people experienced one threatened assault, 143,800 experienced two threatened assaults and 305,200 experienced three or more threatened assaults. (Table 3)

The threatened assault victimisation rate for Australia was 4.2%. The Northern Territory had the highest (8.2%) victimisation rate for this type of crime. (Table 6)

THREATENED ASSAULT VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Threatened assault victimisation rates by state.


The victimisation rate for threatened assault for people who were not married (5.8%) was higher than for those who were married (3.2%), and the victimisation rate for people who were unemployed (9.4%) was higher than for those not in the labour force (2.9%), those employed full-time (4.8%) or those employed part-time (4.2%). An estimated 415,100 threatened assault victims were male, whereas 303,500 were female. (Table 10)

The majority (61%) of people who experienced a face-to-face threatened assault knew the offender in the most recent incident, with 10% indicating that the offender was a member of their family and 50% indicating that the offender was not a member of their family (Table 11).

An estimated 28% of the most recent face-to-face threatened assaults occurred at the victim's home, 22% occurred at the victim's work, and 16% occurred in the street or other open land. No weapon was used in the majority (92%) of the most recent face-to-face threatened assaults. (Table 11)

Approximately 667,100 people experienced a face-to-face threatened assault, while 204,100 people experienced a non face-to-face threatened assault. Males had a higher victimisation rate (4.7%) than females (3.2%) for face-to-face threatened assault. In contrast, the victimisation rate was 1.2% for both males and females for non face-to-face threatened assault. (Table 10)

As was the case with physical assault, the location of face-to-face threatened assaults varied depending on the sex of the victim. Approximately 42% of the most recent face-to-face threatened assaults that females experienced occurred at the victim's home, compared with 18% for males. (Table 12)

In addition, the location of face-to-face threatened assaults varied according to the victim's relationship to the offender. Of the 73,100 victims of a most recent face-to-face threatened assault perpetrated by a current or previous partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date, 72% occurred in the victim's home. Of the 263,700 victims of a most recent face-to-face threatened assault perpetrated by an offender the victim did not know, 8.7% occurred in the victim's home. (Table 12)

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HOUSEHOLD CRIME

Break-in

Australia had an estimated 373,600 break-in incidents in the 12 months prior to interview (Table 2). These included incidents where a person's home, garage or shed was broken into. An estimated 213,500 households experienced one break-in incident, 35,600 experienced two incidents and 18,000 experienced three or more incidents. (Table 4)

The break-in victimisation rate for Australia was 3.3%. The victimisation rate for the Northern Territory (7.7%) was higher than any other state or territory. (Table 15)

BREAK-IN VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Break-in victimisation rate by state.


Offenders stole property in 67% of the most recent break-in incidents, with the most commonly stolen items including money (18%), personal electronic equipment (14%) and garden tools (13%). In addition, property was damaged in 49% of all incidents, while offenders confronted someone in 12% of all incidents. (Table 16)

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Attempted break-in

Australian households experienced an estimated 363,100 incidents of attempted break-in during the 12 months prior to interview (Table 2). An estimated 182,600 households experienced one attempted break-in, 49,100 experienced two incidents and 18,100 experienced three or more incidents (Table 4).

The attempted break-in victimisation rate for Australia was 3.1%. The Northern Territory (8.1%) had the highest victimisation rate. The next highest victimisation rate was in Western Australia (4.8%). (Table 15)

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Attempted break-in victimisation rates by state.


Most (57%) people cited a door or window being damaged or tampered with as evidence of the most recent attempted break-in (Table 17).

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Motor vehicle theft

Australian households experienced an estimated 97,900 incidents of motor vehicle theft in the 12 months prior to interview (Table 2).

The victimisation rate for motor vehicle theft for Australia was 1.1% (Table 15).

MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Motor vehicle theft victimisation rates by state.


The majority (62%) of the most recent motor vehicle theft incidents occurred at the victim's home, followed by the street or other open land (14%) (Table 18).

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Theft from a motor vehicle

Australian households experienced an estimated 461,700 incidents of theft from a motor vehicle during the 12 months prior to interview (Table 2). An estimated 304,900 households experienced one theft from a motor vehicle, 46,900 households experienced two incidents and 16,700 households experienced three or more incidents (Table 4).

The victimisation rate for theft from a motor vehicle for Australia was 4.5%. Rates for the Northern Territory (7.9%), and Western Australia, (7.5%), were higher than other states and territories. (Table 15)

THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLE VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Theft from a motor vehicle victimisation rates by state.


Types of property frequently stolen in the most recent theft from a motor vehicle included money (26%), other personal items (25%) and motor vehicle parts (23%). The majority (59%) of most recent theft from a motor vehicle occurred at the victim's home. (Table 19)

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Malicious property damage

Australian households experienced an estimated 1.6 million incidents of malicious property damage during the 12 months prior to interview (Table 2). Approximately 669,000 households experienced one malicious property damage incident, 141,100 experienced two incidents and 100,900 experienced three or more incidents (Table 4).

The victimisation rate for malicious property damage for Australia was 11%. At a state and territory level, the Northern Territory had the highest victimisation rate (20%). (Table 15)

MALICIOUS PROPERTY DAMAGE VICTIMISATION RATES
Graph: Malicious property damage victimisation rates by state.


Types of property commonly damaged, defaced or destroyed in the most recent incident were exterior items - including walls, windows, doors and fences - (66%) and cars or other motor vehicles (29%) (Table 20).

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REPORTING TO POLICE

The proportion of crime incidents people reported to police varied depending on the type of crime:
  • 86% for motor vehicle theft
  • 70% for break-in
  • 53% for theft from a motor vehicle
  • 39% for physical assault
  • 36% for malicious property damage
  • 35% for attempted break-in
  • 28% for other theft
  • 23% for robbery
  • 23% for threatened assault.(Table 5)

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FEELINGS OF SAFETY

Higher proportions of people reported feeling safe, rather than unsafe, in the different settings explored in the survey in the 12 months prior to interview. Approximately 83% of people felt safe or very safe when at home alone during the day, and 70% felt this way when at home alone after dark. Conversely, 2.1% of people felt unsafe or very unsafe when at home alone during the day, and 4.3% felt this way when at home alone after dark. Less than 1% of people indicated that they were never at home alone after dark due to safety concerns. (Table 22)

FEELINGS OF SAFETY AT HOME ALONE
Graph: Feelings of safety whilst at home alone.


The proportion of people feeling unsafe or very unsafe at home alone during the day was similar across all states and territories. Additionally, the proportion of people feeling unsafe or very unsafe at home alone after dark was similar for all states and territories. (Table 22)

More than 4.0 million people aged 15 years or over used public transport alone after dark in the 12 months prior to interview. Overall, 15% of all people felt safe or very safe on public transport after dark, compared with 3.5% feeling unsafe or very unsafe. A further 9.6% of people indicated that they never used public transport alone after dark due to safety concerns. The proportion of people feeling safe or very safe using public transport alone after dark was lowest in the Northern Territory (6.8%) and Tasmania (7.2%). (Table 22)

Almost 8.0 million people aged 15 years or over walked alone after dark at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Overall, 37% of all people felt safe or very safe walking alone after dark, whereas 3.1% felt unsafe or very unsafe. A further 15% of people indicated that they never walked alone after dark due to safety concerns. The proportion of people feeling unsafe or very unsafe in the Northern Territory (5.7%) was the highest in Australia. (Table 22)

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Perceived neighbourhood problems

Overall, 69% of people perceived that their neighbourhood had specific problems from crime or public nuisance. Commonly perceived problems included dangerous or noisy driving (45%); vandalism, graffiti or damage to property (35%); and housebreakings, burglaries or theft from homes (29%). More than one third (34%) of people in Tasmania perceived no specific problems in their neighbourhood, whereas 19% of people in the Northern Territory perceived no specific problems. (Table 23)

NEIGHBOURHOOD PROBLEMS
Graph: Perceived problems in neighbourhood


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